Some will say it’s too soon to draw lessons from the floods that have caused so much damage to Columbia, and it’s true that many lessons will emerge over time. But two big ones are obvious now.
The first is to respect the hard science that shows global warming is a threat multiplier, responsible for increasing the severity of climate events such as storms and droughts. We can and must take aggressive measures to slow global warming, such as eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
Secondly, we must begin a nationwide effort to repair and replace aging infrastructure. While weaning ourselves from fossil fuels can be cost-neutral, modernizing water and sewer systems, bridges, dams, electrical grids, etc. will cost trillions in the short term. However, such a massive effort will create thousands of jobs and save even more money in the long run.
The choices are ours to make now, before it is truly too late.